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Natural Disaster, Policy Action, and Mental Well Being: The Case of Fukushima

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  • Goebel, J.;
  • Krekel, C.;
  • Tiefenbach, T.;
  • Ziebarth, N.;

Abstract

We study the impact of the Fukushima disaster on people’s mental wellâ€Âbeing in another industrialized country, more than 5000 miles distant. The meltdown significantly increased environmental concerns by 20% among the German population. Subsequent drastic policy action permanently shut down the oldest nuclear reactors, implemented the phaseâ€Âout of the remaining ones, and proclaimed the transition to renewables. This energy policy turnaround is largely supported by the population and equalized the increase in mental distress. We estimate that during the 3 months after the meltdown, Fukushima triggered external monetized health costs worth €250 per distressed citizenâ€â€particularly among risk averse women.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 13/28.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:13/28

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Keywords: Fukushima; meltdown; nuclear phaseâ€Âout; mental health; environmental worries; SOEP;

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  1. Wang, Qiang & Chen, Xi & Yi-chong, Xu, 2013. "Accident like the Fukushima unlikely in a country with effective nuclear regulation: Literature review and proposed guidelines," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 126-146.
  2. AndrewE. Clark & Nicolai Kristensen & Niels Westergård-Nielsen, 2009. "Job Satisfaction and Co-worker Wages: Status or Signal?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 430-447, 03.
  3. Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Eva M. Berger, 2010. "The Chernobyl Disaster, Concern about the Environment, and Life Satisfaction," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 1-8, 02.
  5. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M. & Imbens, Guido, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Scholarly Articles 3043416, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Clark, A.; & Etilé, F.;, 2010. "Happy House: Spousal weight and individual well-being," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 10/10, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  7. Matthias Nübling & Hanfried H. Andersen & Axel Mühlbacher & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2007. "Computation of Standard Values for Physical and Mental Health Scale Scores Using the SOEP Version of SF12v2," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 171-182.
  8. Joachim Frick & Nicolas Ziebarth, 2013. "Welfare-related health inequality: does the choice of measure matter?," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 431-442, June.
  9. Katrin Rehdanz & Heinz Welsch & Daiju Narita & Toshihiro Okubo, 2013. "Well-being effects of a major negative externality: The case of Fukushima," Kiel Working Papers 1855, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  10. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel & Ronnie Schöb & Joachim Weimann, 2010. "Dissatisfied with Life but Having a Good Day: Time-use and Well-being of the Unemployed," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(547), pages 867-889, 09.
  11. Angus S. Deaton, 2011. "The Financial Crisis and the Well-Being of Americans," NBER Working Papers 17128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Robert Metcalfe & Nattavudh Powdthavee & Paul Dolan, 2011. "Destruction and Distress: Using a Quasi‐Experiment to Show the Effects of the September 11 Attacks on Mental Well‐Being in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(550), pages F81-F103, February.
  13. Danzer, Alexander M. & Danzer, Natalia, 2011. "The Long-Term Effects of the Chernobyl Catastrophe on Subjective Well-Being and Mental Health," IZA Discussion Papers 5906, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Zsuzsanna Csereklyei, 2013. "Measuring the Impacts of Nuclear Accidents on Energy Policy," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp151, Vienna University of Economics, Department of Economics.
  15. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Experience of technological and natural disasters and their impact on the perceived risk of nuclear accidents after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan 2011: A cross-country analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 360-363.
  16. Luechinger, Simon & Raschky, Paul A., 2009. "Valuing flood disasters using the life satisfaction approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 620-633, April.
  17. Aoki, Masahiko & Rothwell, Geoffrey, 2013. "A comparative institutional analysis of the Fukushima nuclear disaster: Lessons and policy implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 240-247.
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Cited by:
  1. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui & Chisako Yamane & Shoko Yamane & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2014. "Trust and Happiness: Comparative Study Before and After the Great East Japan Earthquake," ISER Discussion Paper 0904, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  2. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui & Chisako Yamane & Shoko Yamane, 2014. "Effect of major disasters on geographical mobility intentions: the case of the Fukushima nuclear accident," ISER Discussion Paper 0903, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  3. Adrian Chadi, 2014. "Dissatisfied with Life or with Being Interviewed? Happiness and Motivation to Participate in a Survey," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 639, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  4. Heinz Welsch & Susana Ferreira, 2014. "Environment, Well-Being, and Experienced Preference," Working Papers V-367-14, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised May 2014.

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